‘American Idol’ Judges Shakeup Sparks Nicki Minaj Battle (REPORT)

By: Lauren DiMascio / August 17, 2012

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Could American Idol Season 13 be taking a page out of the playbook of sister show X Factor and increasing its judge’s table to four seats again? Maybe.

FOX and FremantleMedia executives are reportedly pondering adding one more judge to the perennial trio, according to the The Hollywood Reporter. And if the artists who are being bandied around as judges are correct then almost all genres of music will be covered.

As Celebuzz previously reported pop and R&B diva Mariah Carey will definitely take a seat at the table for Season 13. But sources are saying the show is apparently looking for a country star and some latin flavor to fill the other two vacant seats. For the fourth judge’s seat they’re hoping to snag Nicki Minaj, which will cover the hip hop arena. Though there could be a major issue with bringing her on board.

What might prevent Nicki from joining Idol? Who are the executives top choices? And what about Randy Jackson?

The “Starships” rapper-singer, known for her flow and style as much as for her alter ego is currently the face of Pepsi but Coca-Cola has long sponsored American Idol. The potential hiring of Minaj could present a difficult hurdle, closely mirroring Idol’s predicament last year with Jennifer Lopezs Fiat endorsement deal conflicting with show sponsor Ford. Lopez, along with former judge Steven Tyler, opted to exit the show after just two seasons despite hefty paydays.

As for the country and Latin stars being looked at, insiders told THR that Keith Urban and Enrique Iglesias are the number one choices right now. Celebuzz reported two weeks ago that Nick Jonas confirmed to fans via Twitter that he too was under consideration for one of the judge’s seats, but it’s unclear at this point if the JoBro is still in the running.

So the question then remains: What about original judge Randy Jackson? He may not occupy a role at the judge’s table when the new season begins, but as one of Carey’s managers, he will most definitely be involved in the show. Previous speculation has Jackson taking on more of an advisory role similar to mentor Jimmy Iovine for the show’s new season. Time will tell.

FOX has not immediately responded to Celebuzz’s request for comment.

Do you think American Idol should have four judges? Should Nicki Minaj be one of them? Tell us in the comments below!